Unfinished Business for MLK

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“You will never say goodbye to the past, until you understand why the flashbacks haunt you.”Shannon L. Alder

Today on All Things Fulfilling, we’ll celebrate the birthday of one of the most influential civil rights activists of all time, Martin Luther King. His work to erase racial segregation and racial equality for all was tireless. Sadly, his unfinished business in Memphis is still a work in progress in our country.

We’ll take a trip through images to Memphis, Tennessee situated along the Mississippi River. The city’s cultural roots run deep and it’s known for his rich music heritage. Beale Street abounds with eateries of it’s famous barbeque and sounds of rhythm and blues, gospel, jazz. It’s also known as the birthplace of rock and roll.

The Orpheum Theatre is historically significant and today it plays an important role in educating children. Their belief is that “when kids find art, they find themselves.” Many celebrities have performed in this theatre whose beginnings date back to 1890, when it was then known as the Grand Opera House. In 1907 it was renamed at The Orpheum.

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BB King books signed

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Tragically, Martin Luther King’s life ended on April 4, 1969 in Memphis, Tennessee during a time of racial tension and upheaval. It was a period of unrest in my own life also. I write about this time in Chapter 21 Someone to Watch Over Her in my memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

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All Things Must Pass

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Happy Film Friday! A documentary film for music lovers is the subject of today’s blog on All Things Fulfilling.

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According to MovieInsider.com, All Things Must Pass will be released October 16, 2015. This film is about a company that began in a drugstore and grew to a $1 billion dollar industry by 1999. Many claim the beginning of selling music over the internet lead to the demise of Tower Records. This company, which was birthed some thirty years previously, was forced to close due to technology advances.

Many changes have taken place since the days of  going to a brick and mortar music store to buy vinyl records. The need to purchase cds in this digital age has been replaced with downloading sounds to MP-3 players, cellphones, computers and other digital devices.  Any time of day or night you can add to your library of audio sounds. Convenience for the consumer through e-commerce has become of utmost importance in this busy world of ours.

To read more about All Things Must Pass and to watch the movie trailer please , visit this website. http://www.movieinsider.com/m13326/all-things-must-pass/#plot

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Have a terrific weekend everybody. See you on Monday.

This blog is brought to you by the EVVY award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

Summer is Not Over Till It’s Over

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I am so happy you returned to All Things Fulfilling today. Perhaps you are like me, not quite ready yet to step into the third season.

Today’s multi-media look back at summer is brought to you through a video from Carl’s Old Record Club. Their You Tube channel has a number of other videos that you will enjoy viewing. They are nicely produced – syncing music with images.

Aren’t we fortunate to be living in the digital age whereby we can easily share all types of media, such as independently published films, music and e-books with others?

Enjoy the creative entertainment of others frequently because it will enhance your own personal fulfillment!

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. Check out her EVVY award-winning audio book! It is also available in paperback and e-book as well.

Yankee Doodle Day

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Happy 4th of July everybody!

Yankee Doodle DandyThankfully, PBS broadcasts our nation’s Capitol 4th of July for those who must witness it from afar. When I get home from the local fireworks, I automatically flip on the channel. If you have never been to Washington, DC, you are missing something significant. It’s a gift of a lifetime trip that every American should be privy to. The museums, statues and other landmarks are all free, so no one is left out from seeing the attractions as long as you can get there.

When 9/11 happened, the USA rallied and we Americans showed our support for one another by decorating our homeland. It’s a shame many of the flags, banners and other signs of patriotism have since disappeared. They are  good reminders of the freedoms we enjoy and are worth, literally and figuratively, fighting for.

And, why do we save our patriotic songs for Independence Day? In my opinion, they ought to be sung more often! Here are 100 patriotic favorites.   How many do you recognize? Many of the tunes tell the tale of our country’s heritage, and it is important that all generations of Americans know the most famous anthems.

Have a Yankee Doodle Dandy kind of day! On Monday on All Things Fulfilling, I will share reflections of my 4th of July celebrations from Ski Town, U.S.A.

This blog is brought to you by the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

 

Stories in Music

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conducive-to-happiness[5]Every spring and fall the Yampa Valley Choral Society holds a community concert at the United Methodist Church in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. This past weekend a group of 41 men and women and 10 young girls presented “I’ve Been Everywhere: It‘s the Journey That Counts.”

This year, the sound of young choral voices added to the concert. Ten young girls sang a few songs taken from film scores and musical theatre productions. Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head (from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) and two memorable selections from Annie – Tomorrow and It’s a Hard Knock Life (from Annie) were  included.

As usual, the arrangement of musical compositions sung by the forty-one adults were thoughtfully chosen and diverse. Spirituals included Set Me as A Seal which was paraphrased from the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament and How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place by Johannes Brahms. Words from Psalm 84 of the King James Bible were incorporated in the verses of this composition.

Karl Jenkins composition Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary was not familiar to me, however it was sweet sounding and harmonious.  Jenkins, is a Welsh composer whose album is unintended for words, rather the voices of the chorus made instrument-like noises.

Two songs had nautical backstories to them. Over the Sea to Skye tells of Charles Stuarts escape from Scotland in 1745 via ship, along with Flora MacDonald, who traveled incognito, posing as his maid. His exile took him to France where he spent the rest of his lifetime.

Dry Your Tears, Afrika,  one of my favorite tunes of the afternoon, was taken from the 1997 movie Armistad. The story is about 53 Africans who were transported by ship from Sierra Leone to be sold as slaves. They changed their destiny when they took hold of the ship and navigated it to Long Island. The events of their journey became the subject of a Supreme Court case. If you have not seen the movie, it’s powerful.

You haven’t been anywhere unless you’ve traveled across America. Songs from past Pop Hit Charts included Homeward Bound, Surfin’ USA, I’ve Been Everywhere, and I’ll Fly Away were incorporated into the concert, as well as America from West Side Story.

I never fail to learn something from the interesting backstories of the compositions that the Yampa Valley Choral Society choses to focus the themes of their concerts around. The program notes as well as the choir Director’s commentary help tell the story of each song’s rich history and their composers.

Thank you Yampa Valley Choral Society for yet another delightful hour of music. Look forward to your fall concert.

This blog is brought to you by award-winning author Sue Batton Leonard.

Grounded, Even at Sea

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“Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.” ~ Pablo Picasso

Taylor Batton 1Something completely different was planned for today’s blog but I just got wind of some  developing news, so I’ve changed my story!

On February 14, 2013, two years ago, I posted a blog called Songs, Taylor Made. The first time I featured young musician, songwriter and vocal artist, Taylor Batton on All Things Fulfilling, he was a student at Maine Maritime Academy. He has since graduated and he’s now navigating waters in places around the world piloting tremendous seafaring vessels – tugboats and such.

Batton uses his times of solitude to come to understand himself better and the world around him. His thoughts are used to create narratives through his music. As he says of his nautical life “You get a really strong sense of loneliness. At the same time, you feel a really strong and strange power. All of that kind of ties into how I go about writing the music. I just try and capture that feeling. ” Listen In.

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I’m so proud of this young man. Taylor Batton recently signed with Goldship Records of Bristol, TN and his first full length album will soon be released.

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His journey has not always been easy. Yet he’s stared down adversity  and has attained each one of his goals,  all the while keeping his eye on what he’s been passionate about (maritime life and music) and not given up.

I look forward to learning more about the release of your new record label and the company who has signed you, Taylor. Hearty Congratulations!

This blog is penned by the award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and Short Stories: Lessons of Heart & Soul.

Advent Day #21 Xmas Around the World

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Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. – Hamilton Wright Mabie

Last Sunday, the Steamboat United Methodist Church had an impressive holiday extravaganza – enough to put any “Scrooge” in the spirit.  Through the generosity of so many artistically talented people helping to bring it all together, an unforgettable production of Christmas around the World was brought to the second service of the day.

It was a huge accomplishment requiring too many people to name individually. The bell choir, the vocalists of the Chancel Choir and the Childrens Choir, Soprano Keri Rusthoi http://www.kerirusthoi.com and the children who were dressed as characters from the Bible, helped to tell the beautiful Christmas story from different perspectives recounting holiday traditions from around the world.

“Tweens” (ages 10 – 12) played the part of news anchors and reporters. It was as if the children from the United Methodist Church were standing in town squares broadcasting from England, the Caribbean, France, Italy, the Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Germany, thanks to the creativity of the video production teacher at Steamboat Springs High School.

But that’s not all! As the community gathered in Fellowship Hall after the service for wonderful refreshments, creches from places in the U.S. and around the World were on display for all to see and appreciate. In today’s photos I have captured images of a few of them.

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Please come back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow. The topic will continue on better understanding our world through multi-cultural learning about holiday traditions.

This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard,  award-winning author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected. For more information about her memoir, an anthology of stories about multi-cultural love and understanding, please visit these websites.

Audio Book http://amzn.to/1trrTl9
Paperback http://amzn.to/1qmcEHI
e-Book http://amzn.to/1lx7oRh